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North Dakota Department of Health Investigation Hepatitis in Child with Unknown Cause

North Dakota Department of Health Investigating Hepatitis in Child with Unknown Cause

The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in investigating a child with hepatitis of unknown cause. The child resides in Grand Forks County. The child is recovering at home after a brief hospitalization. North Dakota is among a growing list of states investigating children with hepatitis where usual causes have been ruled out.

“We are encouraging medical providers to review their records back to October 2021 for any patients that warrant further investigation,” said Kirby Kruger, Medical Services Section Chief. “NDDoH is working with the CDC to help identify cases that will aid in understanding the cause of hepatitis in children and to understand how we can prevent these illnesses from happening in the future.”

Parents are encouraged to watch for symptoms of hepatitis, or inflammation of the liver. These symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, and jaundice, or yellow skin or eyes. Talk to your medical provider if your child is experiencing these symptoms.

A link between cases of hepatitis and adenovirus infection has been suggested. Because of this, CDC is asking physicians to consider adenovirus testing. Adenovirus infections are common and occur among persons of all ages. Symptoms may include cold-like symptoms, fever, sore throat, pneumonia, diarrhea, or pink eye.

NDDoH encourages everyday precautions to keep children safe, including washing hands often, staying home when ill, avoiding people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching the eyes, nose, or mouth, and staying up-to-date on routinely recommended vaccines.

For more information, contact:

Lindsey VanderBusch, MPH, Division of Sexually Transmitted and Bloodborne Diseases lvanderbusch@nd.gov



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